Virtual customer service is essentially service delivered to customers using AI (Artificial Intelligence) powered technology. It can take on different forms, but the premise is the same. Instead of relying on a live agent, contact centers can implement AI virtual agents to provide customers with the help they need. AI virtual agents can be pre-programmed with answers to common customer questions. They can take payments and give customers routine account updates. They can also learn and adapt better to customers’ needs and implement what they learn in future conversations. With the ability to stay online 24/7 virtual customer service agents are a great solution for companies that need to be available for customers all day and night.
Virtual customer service can be delivered through IVR, chat, SMS, and email. IVR virtual customer service can look like a customer calling after hours needing to check in on the status of an order. With an IVR, the customer can speak their selections to a virtual agent. The virtual agent can understand and interpret what the customer is saying and provide them with an answer. Webchat can also deliver a type of virtual customer service. By using bots, call centers can help customers perform self-service tasks or get them routed to the right agent. Bots are pre-programmed applications that can “talk” to customers through a chat platform on a company’s website. SMS works the same way. If a call center sends out a mass text to customers about a new product, a virtual customer service agent can help narrow down interested prospects. A bot can ask each customer to confirm interest by pressing a number, and agents can use that information to follow up on leads.
More Virtual Service Resources for Call and Contact Centers
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At their most fundamental level, chatbots are AI-driven computer programs that simulate human conversation and allow interactions with digital devices to unfold as if chatting with a real person. A chatbot can be a catch-all term that describes any automated voice or digital interaction. Chatbots rely on rule-based configuration, which means they require human input to evolve and change. For instance, a chatbot won’t automatically know when a new knowledge base FAQ article can answer a customer query—you have to tell it to surface that information.